Police are searching for a man they believe swindled tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from businesses across northeast Texas.
Mount Pleasant police said the suspect used fraudulent checks to pay for $85,000 worth of goods in their town alone.
“In a day and age of whipping out your credit card, your debit card, checks are becoming obsolete,” said Detective Natalio Palma with the Mount Pleasant Police Department. “But, they do still surface.”
In several northeast Texas towns, they’ve surfaced in a big way.
“Over $85,000 total that he’s scammed out of people [in Mount Pleasant],” said Palma.
Police say John Granger used fraudulent checks to purchase big-ticket items like jewelry and vehicles from businesses across the area, ranging from Marshall, Texas, to Gilmer, Texas.
“Texarkana was also a victim of this charlatan,” said Palma.
Mount Pleasant police said Granger is using checks that have his name on the corner.
“They look like legitimate checks,” said Palma. “It was an open account at one time, but it’s already been closed. No funds in it.”
A manager at an auto dealership in Gilmer said one of those checks was used to purchase a new 2019 F-350 truck, valued at $65,000.
Investigators in Mount Pleasant said they are working with several area agencies to find Granger.
“He does have acquaintances here in Mount Pleasant, Marshall, other areas,” said Palma. “We’re just trying to sift through all the leads of where he may be and trying to run him down.”
Police said that since the suspect used phony checks to pay for purchases throughout the region, he could be anywhere. Officials advise using extra caution when accepting this form of payment.
“If it’s a large sum amount, just always be aware of what you may be… It may be a legit check, but on the other hand, there are bad people in the world,” said Palma.
Police said Granger is believed to be driving the new white dually Ford F-350 truck he purchased with a hot check in Gilmer. If you think you may have seen him, please contact police.